San Francisco by Bartender
This is probably my 10th or 11th trip to San Francisco in the last eight years. I like it here, I feel like I have a good lay of the land and know a fair number of great places to eat and drink. The only problem is that since I'm almost always here for work geekery, my free time is limited and so I often end up returning to the same old favorite places and neighborhoods and don't get quite so much time to explore.
I usually ask around for recommendations, but this year I've got a theme. asked a few bartender friends for recommendations for both bars and restaurants to visit while in the area.
The list is extensive and if I get to a fraction of these places in the next four days, I'll be lucky. Similarly, if I added links and whatnot to every place listed, this post would never go up. Google's your friend folks, sorry.
After the jump, the bartenders and their recs. As a bonus, I also got a list of recommendations from the waiter at Incanto, where I had dinner Sunday night (more on that to come).
Mo from The Dove grew up in San Francisco, so has a good hometown perspective. Here's her list:
- 500 Club
- The Cassanova
- El Toro (for Burritos)
- Velvet Cantina (for sit down Mexican)
- The Top of the Mark
- Starlight Room
- Cornelian Room (Best View!)
- The Tonga Room
- The Taddich Grill (Amazing for lunch)
Embarrassingly, I don't remember this guy's name. He was working the bar at B61 when I was in Red Hook to shoot the Jay Electronica show for Examiner. He and another patron got into a competition to tell me where to go while out here. Here's his list:
- El Farolito on 24th and Mission.
- Taqueria Cancun on 6th and Market
- Tu Lan just around the corner on 6th between Market and Mission.
- No Name Sushi on 16th and Church
- House of Nanking on Kearny and Columbus
- Brandy Ho's
- Best Falafel Sandwich - Ali Baba's Cave on Haight near Fillmore.
- Best Indian at Shalimar on Jones between Geary and Post.
Finally, in North Beach, he recommended Caffe Macaroni and Mario's Cigar Shop and for a birthday dinner, he said Boulevard would be a good splurge.
Next up Chez from Madame X gave me her own list:
First off, she seconded the recommendation for Tu Lan on 6th between Market and Mission, specifically recommending the Imperial Rolls, which I love and will be sure to have in short order.
Beyond that, in no particular order, she spoke up for:
- Dalva Bar - 16th between Guerrero and Valencia
- Puerto Allegre for Mexican on Valencia between 16th and 17th
- Dolores Park to hang out and enjoy the sun
- El Rio, a bar on Mission at 28th Street.
It's a lot to go through, but I've already managed one or two since I got here. I'll be sure to report on wherever I end up over the course of the week.